Tags: Obesity | patch | burns | belly | tummy | white fat | micro-needles

New Patch Burns Belly Fat

New Patch Burns Belly Fat
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By    |   Thursday, 28 December 2017 03:05 PM

Belly fat may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have developed a patch that combines a new way to deliver drugs — through a micro-needle patch — with drugs known to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.

In a laboratory test, the patch reduced weight gain in mice on a high-fat diet, and decreased their fat mast by more than 30 percent in only four weeks.

The new type of skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles, each thinner than a human hair, which are loaded with one of two drugs — either the drug Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3 triiodothyronine.

When the patch is pressed into the skin for about two minutes, the micro-needles become embedded in the skin and separate from the patch, which can then be removed.

As the needles degrade, the drug molecules are slowly dispersed to the energy-storing white fat underneath the skin and turn it into energy-burning brown fat.

Babies have much more brown fat than adults, which help keep them warm by burning energy, but as we age, brown fats are replaced with energy-storing white fat.

"With the embedded microneedles in the skin of the mice, the surrounding fats started browning in five days, which helped to increase the energy expenditure of the mice, leading to a reduction in body fat gain," said Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie, whose research focuses on drug delivery systems.

"The amount of drugs we used in the patch is much less than those used in oral medication or an injected dose," Xu said. "This lowers the drug ingredient costs while our slow-release design minimizes its side effects."

"What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is unobtrusive and yet affordable," said Professor Chen Peng, a biotechnology expert who researches obesity. "Most importantly, our solution aims to use a person's own body fats to burn more energy, which is a natural process in babies."

The researchers estimate that their prototype patch cost about $3.50 to make. It contains beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist combined with hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the human body and commonly used in products like skin moisturizers.

Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist is a drug approved by the Federal Drug Administration and is used to treat overactive bladders, while T3 triiodothyronine is a thyroid hormone commonly used for medication for an underactive thyroid gland.

Other studies have found both drugs can turn white fats brown, but their use in weight loss is hampered by potentially serious side effects when used as a pill.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. Belly fat and its companion visceral fat — the fat that hides deep in your body — continuously create inflammatory compounds which wreak havoc in your body, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other conditions.

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Belly fat may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have developed a patch that combines a new way to deliver drugs - through a micro-needle patch - with drugs known to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning...
patch, burns, belly, tummy, white fat, micro-needles
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2017-05-28
Thursday, 28 December 2017 03:05 PM
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